Marohn to Bring Strong Towns Insights to Virginia

I have written about Chuck Marohn, founder and chief evangelist of the Strong Towns movement, many times. Not long ago I urged elected officials and citizen activists wanting to revitalize Virginia’s small towns to read his blog. Marohn is, hands down, the leading thinker today about building more prosperous, livable, and sustainable communities” in America’s small towns.

At long last, Marohn is coming to Virginia. As the guest of the Partnership for Smarter Growth, the Coalition for Hanover’s Future, and the Virginia Conservation Network, he will be holding one of his “Curbside Chats” at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland tomorrow (Tuesday) evening.

How can our towns get stronger—not weaker—when our economy changes? How can we repopulate our empty streets and empty storefronts? What can we learn from the earliest days of city building about building better places tomorrow? And how can active citizens, local officials, and ordinary people like you and I make it happen today, no matter how badly we’re starting off?

This live Curbside Chat is an opportunity to hear Strong Towns’ answers to these questions, and to participate in a community-specific discussion about how the Strong Towns approach can improve your city.

This core Strong Towns presentation is a game-changer for communities looking to grow more resilient in an uncertain future.

Find out more here.

Chuck fuses Smart Growth and fiscal conservatism — akin to what I did much less successfully when I published the “Smart Growth for Conservatives” blog. He is acutely aware of the nation’s perilous fiscal condition. While others focus on the entitlement state, Chuck explores the contribution of runaway, low-ROI infrastructure spending — what he calls the “growth Ponzi scheme — to undermining local government finances. He has dissected the damage done by traffic engineers to our transportation system. Among other contributions, he coined the term “stroads” to describe street-road hybrids that provide neither the connectivity of streets nor the higher-speed mobility of roads. He believes in taking lots of small bets with public investment rather than betting the farm.

I hold Chuck in high esteem because he consistently questions the conventional wisdom, much as I try to do in Bacon’s Rebellion. Yet his thinking has not hardened into orthodoxy. He’s always incorporating new ways of looking at the world. I look forward to hearing what he has to say. I highly recommend the event to readers of Bacon’s Rebellion.

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One response to “Marohn to Bring Strong Towns Insights to Virginia

  1. I note the key phrases “small towns” and ” Smart Growth and fiscal conservatism”

    Since most all towns provide more services than counties.. and that’s why and how many formed in the first place, you can’t have those increased services without paying for them – and of course -you want to do that in as fiscally conservative way as possible but those additional services are what attracts some people there for certain services and sends others away because of the higher taxes are more of an issue than additional services.

    So beyond the basic concept that you want to be fiscally conservative about providing the services – there are those that feel that some kinds of services they don’t want – are fiscally … wrong to have them and tax to provide them.

    Some folks want fire and police service but not parks and trails.. Others want water and sewer but object to storm water fees… etc

    but these issues – often portrayed by some as examples of fiscally irresponsible – are, in fact, what others actually want in services and pay for them in increased taxes.

    So .. bottom line – I’m not sure what “fiscally conservative” actually means in the context of towns.. fiscally irresponsible if they overrun their financial ability – but those things happen across the board ..towns, cities, states, companies.. etc.. so what’s a fiscally conservative town look like – beyond the no-brainer part about keeping your finances under control?

    is it having and not having certain services? Does it mean an even heavier hand on zoning and regulations especially with regard to parking?

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